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Inventing Reality: Physics as Language by Bruce Gregory
Transcript of Inventing Reality: Physics as Language by Bruce Gregory
by Bruce Gregory by Bruce Gregory an Associate Director of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. For over twenty years he has made science intelligible to audience ranging from junior high school students to the Members of the Congress
Bruce Gregory the author The book tells the story of how physicists invented a language in order to talk about the world
The purpose of the author is not to explain the discipline( Physics), but to explore the relationship between the language and the world
The Physics discussed in this book is sometimes called fundamental physics
Synopsis Synopsis The author chose to focus on physics because he think it has something particularly valuable to tell us about the general quest to understand the “ furniture of the universe”- the stuff we think as of real- and the role of language plays in creating and supporting this conviction
He uses the word language throughout the book which according to him, is any symbolic system dealing with the world
Important Terms Physics- is logical system of thought which is in a state of evolution, and whose basis cannot be obtained through distillation by any inductive method from the experiences lived through, but which can only be attained by free invention
Language-A language is considered to be a system of communicating with other people using sounds, symbols and words in expressing a meaning, idea or thought.
Reality- the state or quality of being real; an actual being or existence of anything, in distinction from mere appearance
Classical physics demonstrated the power of a language that separates the observer and the observed, the subject and the object
The existence of a world we cannot see make sense from a physicist’s point of view only if this world has observable consequences
Key Points The lesson we can draw from the history of physics is that as far as we are concerned, what is real is what we regularly talk about
For better or worse, there is a little evidence that we have any idea of what reality looks like from some absolute point of view.
The role of language is always easier to see when someone else’s language is involved
Key Points Einstein said, “ without the belief that it is possible to grasp reality with our theoretical construction, without the belief in the inner harmony of the world, there would be no science”
In Heisenberg’s word, “ What we observe is not the nature itself but the nature exposed to our method of questioning”
Bohr said “ It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how nature is”
Key Points Physics is primarily procedural.Its procedure is to uncover the value of a theory by determining its consequences and then seeing if these predictions are confirmed by measurements
The value of a theory is not that it fits what physicists already know, but that it points to what they do not know
The hallmark of the conversation of science is the willingness to allow the agreement or disagreement between predictions and observations to determine whether physicists are satisfied with the theory they have or whether they try to build a new theory
Key Points The beauty the physicists sees in the heart of nature is a result of the distinctions made possible by the language of physics
Physics has a clear criterion for the choice of a language-physicists choose the language that allows their predictions most closely fit to their observations
Gregory argues that quantum mechanics simply brings into focus what has been already true.All physicists have ever done, he says, is to invent mathematical models that work, more or less
Key Points Gregory’s challenging study successfully uses the world of physics to demonstrate the effect of language on the perception and construction of reality, and it uses the language to illuminate the increasingly abstract created by molecular physics
He pursues this double goal through an exploration of classical and quantum –based physics, involving the concepts such as fields, atoms, and symmetry
Framework He’s treatise is popularly rendered, presenting improved understanding of the work of the physicists and a deeper recognition of the limitations of human communication
In physics, there is no one- to –one correspondence between theoretical constructs and “concrete reality”
Framework Gregory traces how physicists have coined words and used the power of mathematics to build models of the universe that gain credence on the basis of experiment
He talked about the vocabulary of fields and forces, symmetries and symmetry –breakings that express how physicists now talk about the world
He traces the basic concepts in physics and the evolution of its language, showing that science is the imaginative creation of the inquisitive human mind
Framework Most of the reality in science we tend to believe is a mere product of a series observations and experimentations of great scientist.
Our concept of reality can be a result of one’s experience using our own senses ( vision,hearing, smell, taste, and touch)
Reality is shape by one’s culture, traditions and belief system. That is why, we give meanings to a certain phenomena based on our point of view
Insights It very crucial for us to view that there is no one reality, their can be multiple reality
The reality that are being floated through media can be a product of imagination or illusion
Looking closely at the media messages are important for us to see our own socio-political reality as a nation
Implications Gregory Bruce,Inventing Reality: Physics as Language N.Y: John Wiley and Sons, 1990
The Physics that was traced by the author in this book is concerned with the understanding the ultimate constituents of matter and the nature of the forces through which these constituents interacts.
It attempts to answer the question, “ What is the world made of, and how does it work?”
INVENTING REALITY: Physics As Language by Bruce Gregory an oral report of
Joseph G. Navarro